K2 - Who, What, When, Where

14 Jun 2013

I am part of a 6 man British/Canadian/Nepali team brought together by Seven Summits Trekking of Nepal (K2 has no relation to the so called '7 summits' of the World). The team comprises Lakpa Sherpa (Nepal), Al Hancock (Canada), myself (UK), Chheji Nurbu Sherpa, Ngima Dorjee Sherpa and Pasang Sherpa (all Nepal). Lakpa has summited K2 once already, Al has summited Everest twice and 3 of the other 8000 mtr peaks (Cho Oyu, Manaslu and Shishapangma) but was turned back by the weather on K2 and nearby Broad Peak in 2012. We are climbing the mountain from the Pakistan side, via the Abruzzi Spur, the 'normal' route up the mountain but which is anything but normal with vertical or near vertical climbing, rock fall and other hazards. More details and pictures on the route when I'm in Pakistan.

There are three other teams, all of around 8 strong, attempting K2 this year, a Japanese team, the mostly Spanish Lela's Expedition Team, both also on the Abruzzi, and an International Team (mostly Kiwi/Aus) via the nearby alternative SSE Spur, the Cesari route.

I now leave the UAE for Pakistan on Friday 21 June, a day later than planned, and depart from Islamabad on 23rd. After 10 days trekking we will reach K2 base camp at approx. 5300 metres. From there the climbing starts, fixing lines, climbing up to the camps we will set up on the mountain, whilst transporting gear at the same time. All being well the summit periods have usually been early August - though I stress that, apart from 2012, there were no summits in 09 and 10 and just a couple in 2011. Summiting the mountain is far from guaranteed. That is an age away, plenty of hard work to do before then! 

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